By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Antonio Conte has agreed a £21million contract to be the new Chelsea manager, Football Insider sources understand.
The Italian is set to be appointed as the club’s next permanent manager within days, and possibly as early as Tuesday, after putting pen to paper on a deal.
The Italy manager will be appointed on a three-year contract worth £7million-a-year following the conclusion of negotiations with Chelsea chiefs in separate meetings in London and Monaco.
Abramovich has ratified the move for Conte to start at Stamford Bridge in the summer and replace Blues’ interim manager Guus Hiddink, whose second spell in caretaker charge will come to an end when the season finishes.
Conte is believed to have already told the FIGC – the Italian football federation – that he wants to return to club management after this summer’s tournament.
He is ready for a new challenge outside of Italy, having previously won three Serie A titles with Juventus as a manager and five as a player. Sources also claim the Italian is continuing to take English lessons in preparation.
Hiddink has made it clear he will leave Stamford Bridge after being drafted in for a second temporary stint in charge of the club, despite growing calls for him from the players to get the job on a permanent basis.
Jose Mourinho, who is in advanced talks to become the new manager of Manchester United at the end of the season, was sacked by Chelsea in mid December following a wretched series of results.